John Risk practices in the areas of health law, regulatory affairs, privacy and corporate law. He has particular expertise in legislative matters and health care regulation.

John brings a well-rounded and versatile perspective to his practice, having viewed regulatory and health law issues from all sides – regulator, regulated and government. In his over two decades of experience in regulation, John has served as General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer and as Director of Enforcement at a regulatory authority, as external counsel to health care organizations and regulatory colleges, and in senior policy positions with government, including Executive Director of the Joint Policy and Planning Committee, a partnership between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Hospital Association.

In his regulation practice, John advises on regulatory governance and strategy, compliance and enforcement issues, by-laws, policy and programs, and general corporate and commercial matters. For his health law clients, he provides advice on regulatory compliance, policies and procedures, corporate governance, health information and privacy, contracts, and insured/uninsured services. John has considerable experience preparing legislative submissions to government and assisting with the drafting of standards and regulations.

John has specific expertise in regulation and consumer protection as it relates to seniors’ care and housing.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2019 as a leading lawyer in Health Care Law

Appointed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to an independent review of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan’s Out-of-Country Program, 2007

Called to the Bar
  • Ontario (2001)
  • LL.B., University of Toronto, 1999
  • M.Phil., University of Cambridge, 1992
  • B.A. (Hons.), Queen's University, 1990
  • Certificate, Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies, Harward University, 2013

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Hot Topics in Regulation", Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation, Toronto, ON, June 27, 2018
Speaker, "Privacy and Consent in Congregate Care: What is the Role of SDMs?" Congregate Care: Legal Issues Facing Residents, Families & Substitute Decision Makers, Ontario Bar Association, June 8, 2018
Speaker, "Mitigating the Risks in Risk Management: A Practical Approach" Advancing Senior Care, AdvantAge Ontario, Annual General Meeting and Convention, April 17, 2018
Speaker, "Navigating the Regulatory Landscape", Together We Care, Ontario Long Term Care Association & Ontario Residential Communities Association Annual Conference, April 10, 2018
Co-Speaker, "Regulators and Risk Management", WeirFoulds LLP Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies Seminar, November 8, 2017 (with Karen McGovern, College of Nurses of Ontario)
Co-speaker, "Abuse, Safety, and Regulation: Protecting the Rights of Older Adults Living In Retirement Homes and Assisted Living", Canadian Elder Law Conference, November 3, 2017
Speaker, "Moneyballing Regulation: The Promise and Pitfalls of Analytics in Risk-Based Regulation", CNAR 2017 Conference, October 4, 2017
Speaker, "Care Homes, Retirement Homes, and Long-Term Care Homes", EPCOH Members' Meeting, Oakville, Ontario, March 23, 2017
Speaker, "Case Study: In Touch Retirement Home", Ministry of the Attorney General Crown School, Hamilton, June 16, 2015
Panelist, "What's on the Regulatory Radar for Retirement Homes", Ontario Residential Communities Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario, April 2014

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment



Bill 160: Major Initiatives of the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care”, Lexis Nexis “Risk Management in Canadian Health Care”, December 2017 (with Debbie Tarshis)

The Regulation of Ontario Retirement Homes: A Primer for Elder Law Advocates in Ontario and B.C.”, Canadian Centre for Elder Law, November 2017 (with Heather Hogan)

“Consent to Treatment Package”, Toronto: Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors, 2010

“Model Accommodation Agreement Package”,Toronto: Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors, 2010

“Model Purchase of Services Agreement Package”,Toronto: Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors, 2010

“Records Retention Toolkit: A Guide to the Maintenance and Disposal of Hospital Records”, Toronto: Ontario Hospital Association, 2007

“External Review of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan’s Out-of-Country Program”, Toronto: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2007 (with Mary Catherine Lindberg)